Big Bang Fair South East: It's back and bigger and better than ever
More than 60 schools and colleges from across the South of England signed-on to attend the 2016 Big Bang South East science fair within 24 hours of on-line registrations opening - bringing with them an estimated 3,500 students.
The Big Bang South East 2016 will take place at the South of England Showground on 29 June. Part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme, it is the biggest single celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.
Almost 7,500 students and their teachers from over 140 schools and colleges enjoyed the 2015 event, breaking previous attendance records.
Employers, professional bodies and educational institutions provided more than 220 STEM-related interactive workshops, shows and demonstrations aimed at giving young people a fun and exciting insight into future courses of study and careers.
And for the first time a series of "mini-Big Bangs" was held across the region, enabling young people to discover, closer to home, the interesting and rewarding careers their STEM studies can lead to.
A similar programme has already been launched ahead of Big Bang South East 2016, with 20 events planned at venues as diverse as the Winchester Science Centre and Butlin's Bognor Regis.
"Crawley STEMfest is a fantastic initiative that has gone from strength to strength," Steve Sawyer, Manor Royal BID Executive Director said. "Manor Royal companies need these skills and their long standing support to the programme is testimony to the value of CRAwley STEMfest and why we are happy to once again be hosting the launch event on Manor Royal next April."
The Big Bang South East is organised by STEM Sussex, the not-for-profit outreach department of the University of Brighton. STEM Sussex also coordinates the mini-Big Bang programme on behalf of Engineering UK.
"Since the first Big Bang South East in 2012, we have gone from around 2,000 students from fewer than 60 schools and colleges to 7,500 visitors from 141 schools and colleges," said STEM Sussex Project Manager Jo McKinney-Green.
"Feedback from students and teachers, from sponsors and from activity suppliers has always been very positive and has enabled us to continue to grow the event and raise the profile of STEM-related activities throughout the region.
"There is no doubt that the Big Bang South East is playing an important role in helping to address the skills gap in science and engineering, and there are signs that since 2012 there has been an increase in the number of young people in the region studying STEM subjects to A-level."
There are lots of ways companies can become involved in one of the biggest and most important events for young people in Crawley. Crawley STEMfest takes place during May and June with the aim of inspiring young people to study STEM (that's science, technology, engineering and maths) and consider meaningful careers in these areas.
There are lots of sponsorship opportunities, as well as other ways to get involved - eg. through site tours or competitions or careers talks... It's a fantastic way to link with your future workforce and really make a difference locally (and further afield).
For a flavour of what went on at the Big Bang South East 2015, please see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LMJEv8l564
For further information, contact STEM Sussex, tel. 01273 641874 or email: CrawleySTEMfest@brighton.ac.uk